Managing the Rollout and Repair of Payment Devices for Fitness Centers

Case Study Industry Focus: Fitness & Health Clubs

Over 50 million people across the United States are members of a local fitness center. Since no fitness center is free (that we’ve heard of!), that means over 50 million payments transactions happen on a regular basis on gym payment devices. Considering that many fitness centers are franchises with thousands of locations country-wide, it is highly important that member data is kept secure company-wide and that payment devices are standardized at all locations.

2015 was the year when forces combined to demand a transition away from magnetic-stripe cards to cards equipped with EMV technology (“Europay, MasterCard, Visa). These cards come with a small computer chip that drastically increases security. As of October 2015, businesses that don’t have an EMV processing device could be held liable for fraudulent card transactions originating from their business. Like many industries, the fitness & health club industry has been scrambling to work with payment solution providers like POSDATA to ensure large-scale EMV transitions are handled professionally and efficiently.

Case Study: The Problem

Every fitness center across the United States needs to accept payment information from their members. Not only does payment information have to be handled securely on-site, but recurring membership dues often are managed by an in-house software solution. With changes in EMV technologies and the 2015 liability shift, it became more important than ever that the software solutions gyms use company-wide are standardized and secure.

While some of this liability falls on the gyms themselves, the impact is felt just as strongly by the companies distributing software and payment technologies to gyms across the United States. In 2014, a software developer and major distributor of software/payment technologies to gyms foresaw the impending changes in EMV requirements. They alerted their standard supplier of payment devices that all future payment devices would need to be upgraded to meet EMV requirements. The payment solutions supplier was happy to sell them more units, but realized that this corporate-wide rollout of thousands of payment devices would require a managed services supplier to oversee the rollout and handle ongoing repair issues.

Case Study: The Solution

POSDATA Group’s technology prowess and ability to handle security solutions at scale made them the ideal partner to manage this operation. As a managed services provider, the first task was to stage thousands of new payment technology units and standardize them for use across all fitness center locations. Units had to be pre-configured and prepared in a way that made them usable right out of the box. Each payment device was loaded with the point-to-point keys and the pin encryption key that met the new EMV requirements. The appropriate cable and power supplies were combined with the solution and shipped to each individual destination. Once the units were prepared, they were placed in a unit pool awaiting a Purchase Order. Upon receipt of the Purchase Order, the units are packaged and shipped directly to the gym from POSDATA’s centrally located facility in Louisville, Kentucky.

Equally important, POSDATA offers an advance exchange program to facilitate ongoing device repairs. The POSDATA team set up an online portal that can receive information on any faulty device. If a payment device at any of the gyms nationwide experiences an outage, POSDATA is alerted via the online portal and immediately ships a functional device to the gym from the asset pool. The gym receives the new device and ships the faulty unit back to POSDATA in the same box. Upon receipt of the faulty unit, POSDATA’s tech team repairs the unit if possible and puts it back into the asset pool for eventually distribution back to a gym. This advance exchange system minimizes downtime and is very cost-effective for all parties.

As a longstanding leader in the payment services industry, POSDATA Group has evolved over the years to be able to easily accommodate requests of any volume from our clients.


This article originally appeared in a PDF case study. Download it here.